Tricaine-S (MS 222)

Tricaine-S (MS 222) | Disease Treatment

Tricaine-S (MS 222)

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Starts at: $38.00

Brand: Syndel USA (formerly Western Chemical)

SKU: Tricaine1G

FDA Approved Fish Anesthetic!

Manufacturer's Note 11/20/20: For the immediate future, any new Tricaine manufactured will have a ONE YEAR expiration date from time of manufacture. Only fresh product will be shipped out and is shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Syndel USA's TRICAINE-S (MS-222, TMS, tricaine methanesulfonate) is an FDA approved fish anesthetic (FDA ANADA 200-226) used for the temporary immobilization of fish, amphibians, and other aquatic cold-blooded animals (poikilotherms). TRICAINE-S (MS-222) has long been recognized as a valuable tool for the proper handling of these animals during manual spawning (fish stripping), weighing, measuring, marking, surgical operations, transport, photography, and research.

TRICAINE-S (MS-222) is a fine crystalline powder fish anesthetic that is mixed with water prior to use. MS-222 is safe and effective for the anesthesia of fish when used as directed.

Western Chemical is the world's largest manufacturer of MS-222, with TRICAINE-S being produced in our FDA inspected Ferndale Washington USA manufacturing plant. TRICAINE-S (MS-222) received FDA approval in 1998 and has since become the best selling MS-222 fish anesthetic in North America. In Canada, it is sold under the name Aqua Life TMS exclusively through Syndel Laboratories. For international inquiries, please see our International Agents Page.

TRICAINE-S is currently the primary MS-222 which is being used in the large scale hatchery salmon tagging programs of the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. It is manufactured according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) which ensures the purity, strength, and quality of this brand of MS-222 fish anesthetic.

TRICAINE-S is the only FDA approved MS-222 which is packaged in FDA approved plastic containers. We do not use glass MS-222 bottles which can slip and break in wet environments. We regularly receive compliments on these bottles, and some facilities now mandate this packaging due to safety concerns related to the use of glass MS-222 bottles in wet environments. These bottles also have a wide opening lid which allows for easy access of measuring utensils.

TRICAINE-S (MS-222) is produced at our FDA inspected Ferndale Washington manufacturing facility and it is guaranteed to be a minimum of 99% pure for the full duration of its shelf life which is 3 years from the date of production.

Recently Western Chemical received FDA approval to offer TRICAINE-S (MS-222) in three new sizes. This MS-222 is now available in 1 gram, 5 gram, and 10 gram bottles as well as the previous 100 gram and 1 kg bottles. These new smaller sizes are ideal for individuals who only need small amounts of MS-222. These sizes are proving popular with fish veterinarians, fisheries biologists, and research scientists.

Do you have outdated MS-222 in storage? Would you like to start with a fresh supply? We can assist our customers with disposal of old MS-222, regardless of where it was purchased. Please call our office to discuss your situation.


  • FDA approved fish anesthetic
  • Used for handling during spawning, weighing, measuring transport, photography, research and more
  • Fine crystalline powder fish anesthetic that is mixed with water prior to use
  • Safe and effective
  • Tricaine-S is the primary MS-222 being used today
  • Packaged in FDA approved plastic containers

Available in the Following:

Tricaine10G - Tricaine-S (10 Grams) Expiration Date 2/2022

Tricaine100G - Tricaine-S (100 Grams/ 3.5 oz) 

Tricaine1KG - Tricaine-S (1 Kilogram/2.2 lbs) 


  • FDA approved fish anesthetic 
  • Used for handling during spawning, weighing, measuring transport, photography, research and more
  • Fine crystalline powder fish anesthetic that is mixed with water prior to use
  • Safe and effective
  • Tricaine-S is the primary MS-222 being used today 
  • Packaged in FDA approved plastic containers



The effects of stress on fish during handling for vaccination, tagging, weight sampling and spawning are important considerations in health and production management. Stress on the fish should be minimized so that they can properly recover from the procedure or respond to the vaccine and return to normal feeding and growth as soon as possible. Fish anesthetics play a large role in reducing stress during any handling.



Anesthetics for fish are prescription drugs in Canada. There are currently only two legal approved fish anesthetics in Canada: Aqualife TMS and Aquacalm™.

Aqualife TMS is approved for use in salmonids and is available by prescription from your veterinarian. When used there is a 50 day withdrawal period.

Aquacalm (Metomidate hydrochloride) is approved for use in non-food fish species.

Veterinarians may prescribe Aquacalm for use with food fish with an “off-label” prescription. You must always consult with a veterinarian before using any prescription drug.


Tricaine-S (MS-222) is an FDA approved fish anesthetic used for the temporary immobilization of fish, amphibians, and other aquatic cold-blooded animals (poikilotherms). When used there is a 21 day withdrawal period.

Aquacalm™ has been granted Indexed status by the FDA for the sedation and anesthesia of ornamental finfish. Aquacalm™ is not for use in fish intended for human or animal consumption.

All Other Countries

Tricaine is available in a number of other countries. Please contact Syndel for details.


As anesthetics typically fall under the drug legislation in various countries, only approved products should be used. Over the years, many other chemicals have been used as fish anesthetics. These include 2-phenoxyethanol, carbon dioxide, quinaldine, methyl-pentynol, etc. None of these are approved and should not be used with your fish.

The choice of anesthetic and dose is dependent upon many factors including the effect desired, the size and condition of the fish, and the ultimate purpose of the fish. Withdrawal time of the fish anesthetic is of major importance if the fish are for human consumption and this varies depending upon the product, the fish and the water temperature. If the drug is used other than under the approved label directions, the withdrawal time is at the discretion of the veterinarian. The mode of action also affects the choice of anesthetic.


Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS acts upon the peripheral nervous system, “freezing” the fish while Aquacalm acts upon the central nervous system causing the fish to be “hypnotized” or “sleepy” while still able to react.

Choosing your anesthetic and dose should be done in consultation with your fish health expert and your veterinarian.


Note: This discussion relates only to Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS and Aquacalm.

After choosing the anesthetic and dose, an appropriate amount of the anesthetic should be dissolved in a small amount of water, and then evenly dispersed throughout the anesthesia bath and well mixed. The fish should be fasted for 24 hours before being anesthetized to reduce contamination of the anesthetic bath.

Anesthetic totes should be plastic or fiberglass. Metal containers must not be used: they react with tricaine to produce harmful byproducts. As there is often variability in effect, always test a few fish before proceeding with mass anesthesia. This variability can result from water quality, fish size, temperature, pH, hardness, species and even the strain of fish.

Aquacalm is more stable in solution than Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS. It is always a good idea to conduct anesthesia in the shade away from UV and direct sunlight as these conditions may cause Tricaine-S/Aqualife TMS solution to become toxic.

The anesthetic baths should be oxygenated and replaced as they become contaminated or every 2 to 4 hours.

It is not a good idea to overload anesthetic baths with fish because you do not want to prolong anesthesia time.

The ideal situation is to reach anesthesia within 3 to 4 minutes and recovery in 3 to 4 minutes.

The usual dose for TRICAINE-S in the USA is 50 to 80 ppm.

The usual dose for Aquacalm in the USA is 5 to 10 ppm for anesthesia and 0.1 to 0.5 ppm for sedation, while 0.25-1.0 in Canada. Aquacalm can also be used to sedate the fish prior to anesthesia with Tricaine-S/Aqualife TMS. If this is done, the Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS dose needs to be reduced.


Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS decreases the pH of the anesthetic bath, especially in soft freshwater. The amount of the change depends on the water that is used; some water can buffer against pH changes, other water will show large pH changes with Tricaine -S/ Aqualife TMS. Anesthetic baths can be buffered with sodium bicarbonate to maintain a steady pH. Each water source has unique characteristics, so the amount of sodium bicarbonate to be added must be determined by measuring the pH.

Sodium bicarbonate can be added to the anesthetic bath as a powder or as a stock solution. As a starting rule-of-thumb, adding twice as much sodium bicarbonate as Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS should bring most anesthetic solutions back to near normal pH. Measure the pH of the Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS solution, add sodium bicarbonate solution and measure the pH again. If the pH is still lower than the rearing tank pH, add more sodium bicarbonate. Once the amount of sodium bicarbonate needed has been established, the same amount can be added each time the anesthetic bath is changed. Check to confirm that the bath is at the right pH. Never mix the sodium bicarbonate with Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS before adding to the anesthetic bath. Add the Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS first, then add the sodium bicarbonate separately, do not pre-mix.

It is important that the recovery of the fish is monitored, and problems corrected. The fish should be returned to high quality conditions and feed as soon as possible.


Before you start, test the anesthetic on a small sub sample of fish. The anesthetic dose should be adjusted so that the fish are anesthetized quickly and are moved along smoothly to the handling or vaccination station. If large numbers of fish are placed in the anesthetic, water quality suffers, monitoring the fish for depth of anesthetic is more difficult and the flow of fish to the handlers is not smooth. The accompanying table of doses, induction and recovery times shows the effects of increasing the anesthetic dose.

Induction and recovery times for tricaine fish anesthetic


Tricaine-S/Aqualife TMS

With each batch of fish, Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS levels in the anesthetic bath are reduced. Lower doses of Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS in over used baths mean longer times before the fish are anesthetized, resulting in increased stress and prolonged procedure times. Long periods of exposure to UV rays from sunlight can also reduce Tricaine-S/ Aqualife TMS levels

Customer Question:

"What do you know about the efficacy of the drug after its expiration date?

Manufacturer Answer:

We cannot recommend use of expired product, nor do we keep efficacy information past the expiration date.

View the PDF for complete operating instructions.

View PDF Info Sheet


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